Amazon has just made its biggest push into blockchain yet

Amazon has just made its biggest push into blockchain yet
Photo Credit: Reuters
16 May, 2018

Cloud computing firm Amazon Web Services (AWS) has partnered a startup incubated by Ethereum co-founder’s firm, in order to make it easier for its clients to build their companies on blockchain. This is the biggest move by AWS owner Amazon to get into blockchain, said Ethereum co-founder Joseph Lubin, in a report by news portal CNBC. 

News of the partnership comes a little more than five months after the cloud firm’s CEO Andy Jassy revealed that AWS wouldn’t focus its services on blockchain in the immediate future, according to a report by tech news portal ZDNet.

Now, however, e-commerce giant Amazon’s arm has tied up with Kaleido, which was born out of Lubin's incubator ConsenSys, for a blockchain partnership. "Kaleido is the first software-as-a-service firm to feature popular Ethereum packages Geth and Quorum. Additional first-of-a-kind capabilities include linking between private networks and the public Ethereum main net, integrated analytics, and support for multiple protocol options and consensus mechanisms," blockchain incubator ConsenSys said.

It also said that Kaleido’s platform, which will run on AWS, can let customers connect across the cloud company’s services, reducing the cost of projects that otherwise need complex integrations. Steve Cerveny, one of the founders of Kaleido, said in a report by CNBC, "Customers can focus on their scenario and don't have to become PhDs in cryptography." 

ConsenSys said that Kaleido streamlines the process of setting up secure, permissioned blockchain networks without sacrificing the ability to customise the environment. These networks offer all of the benefits of the underlying blockchain technology, while still maintaining the necessary levels of robustness, security, and performance, it explained.

Kaleido operates by integrating the greater security and diversification of the public blockchain, or Ethereum main net, with private chains. "By permanently anchoring the private chain to the public blockchain through the Kaleido Relay, a network of companies can further reduce risk of after-the-fact collusion going unnoticed. Anchoring can occur automatically at regular checkpoints to provide greater "proof of settlement finality" over all transactions, as well as on demand for specific events such as a high value trade," Cerveny explained.

For example, when a new member gets on board via a voting policy enforced on the private chain, an irrefutable proof of that decision can be written to the public chain including signatures and timestamps. By doing this, any chance of counterparty disputes about membership is eliminated, he said.
The Kaleido blockchain cloud was piloted in a bank in the Philippines.

Blockchain projects by ConsenSys seem to be gaining traction in India as well. Last month, ConsenSys' India subsidiary said that it was working with the country's top policy think tank to deliver blockchain solutions in different sectors. "We are right now in discussions with think tank Niti Aayog to explore what kind of prototypes would be looked at, among other things," Kavita Gupta, founding managing partner at ConsenSys told TechCircle. Gupta also heads the US-based company's $50 million venture capital fund.